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Cambodia genocide tribunal indicts former Khmer Rouge prison chief

[JURIST] The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday issued a closing order [PDF text; press release] to officially indict former Khmer Rouge prison chief Kaing Guek Eav [TrialWatch profile], also known as Duch, on charges of crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions. Duch is the first suspect to be charged since the tribunal was established in 2006. No trial date has been set, although sources expect it to commence in September. Duch, who was in charge of the notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, is one of five top leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime [JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder] currently in ECCC custody. AP has more.

In April, ECCC officials said that the court expected to complete its investigation [JURIST report] into Duch by July. Duch was arrested in 1999 on genocide charges and was subsequently charged with war crimes by a military court in March and with crimes against humanity [JURIST reports] by the ECCC in July. It is thought that those charges were brought to keep Duch in custody while the ECCC began its initial operations. A panel of ECCC judges ruled late last year that Duch should not be granted bail [JURIST report] while preparations for his trial continue.

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